I'm delighted to advise the House that over the weekend I attended the opening ceremony of the Buddhist Vihara of Queensland as a place of worship. The Buddhist Vihara of Queensland services a diverse group of Queenslanders, now numbering upwards of 2,000 families, from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast and as far west as Toowoomba. It started from humble beginnings at Darra back in 1998.
In 2006, the vihara was relocated to the current location of Goodna, in the Oxley electorate, with more space to develop facilities required to nurture Buddhism for future generations. I was delighted to be part of the official opening ceremony of their new renovations at the temple, alongside the Premier of Queensland, the Hon. Palaszczuk; Labor's candidate for the upcoming Bundamba by-election, Mr Lance McCallum; and also the Premier's father, the Hon. Henry Palaszczuk. The project has provided significant benefits to the vihara community. We heard of the dedication and hard work of so many that made this a reality.
Living in harmony and peace with each other is a huge achievement for us as a nation. We take pride in this, as there are many countries that are not able to worship or live out their faith as easily as we can here in Australia. I extend my sincere thanks to all those involved with this remarkable project for our community. Long may Buddha protect and nurture all of those who worship there.